Sleeping People: Growing
Temporary Residence

Following its 2005 self-titled debut album, instrumental punk-prog-metal outfit Sleeping People returns with more scalding math-rock on Growing. The San Diego group—axe-wielders Joileah Maddock and Kasey Boekholt, bassist Kenseth Thibideau, drummer Brandon Relf—performs its Tool-meets-King Crimson calculus in labyrinthine bruisers like “James Spader” and “Yellow Guy / Pink Eye” before taming the fire a tad on the elephantine “Mouth Breeder.” The ease with which the group navigates the songs' intricate pathways does impress but too often the material feels overly-fixated on compositional complexity. Not surprisingly, those moments when the band slows its pace (e.g., “...Out Dream” and the closing minutes of “Mouth Breeder”) and opts for simplicity are often Growing's most satisfying. Wisely, Sleeping People deviates from the template in the penultimate “It's Heart Loves Open” and even more so in the closer “People Staying Awake” where the unexpected addition of Rob Crow's bright vocalizing provides a refreshing complement to the band's interplay.

November 2007